Flat Water Tuesday by Ron Irwin is a sweet little novel that did not get the attention it deserved. Floated right under the radar. But for me it had all the ingredients of a sure fire winner: middle-aged guy returns to the boarding he school where he rowed to confront some difficult memories. Yes to boarding school tale, yes to rowing and yes to difficult memories.
I’m going to fully admit that I read this novel about a month ago and am just writing the review now so things are a little foggy. But what I do remember is how much I enjoyed reading Flat Water Tuesday. I was a coxswain for a couple of years in high school so I have a pretty big soft spot for rowing. It is a beautiful sport and Irwin does such an amazing job of describing it. His descriptions of practices and races were not only breath-taking, but they were accurate as well.
But Flat Water Tuesday is about more than rowing. It is about being that guy that doesn’t fit in, that doesn’t even want to fit in. It is also about the tragedies that happen in our youth and mark us for life. Now if that doesn’t have you hooked there is something wrong with you.
Who would like this book? Just like me, there are a whole lot of you out there that are suckers for boarding school novels. Well, line up for this one. More specifically, it reminded me of The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont (review), also a water-logged boarding school saga. Flat Water Tuesday will also appeal to those who liked The Boys in the Boat, a non-fiction account of the beauty of rowing.